Insights From

Alex Cowan

Is Silicon Valley the Next Detroit?

Is Silicon Valley the next Detroit? Despite layoffs in Big Tech, there are reasons to remain optimistic that the Bay Area can continue to avoid the fate of so many communities that have seen their prospects dim as their once hot new industry faded. The key is to avoid stagnation by encouraging vigorous competition.

Darden Ideas to Action: Most Read Stories of 2023

Trends and predictions for the AI world. The importance of careful communication. Groundbreaking research using neuroscience to predict human choices. Employee disengagement and what to do about it. The importance of generalists in a tech-driven working world. Darden Ideas to Action insights draw from faculty expertise, books, research and cases.

Hypothesis-Driven Development and the Generalist Superhero

The world of business has changed, and “tech” has everything to do with nearly every business role. Whether someone is technical or not, hypothesis-driven development helps workers get reliably good outcomes by working in discrete batches of testable ideas.

The One Thing Every Product Manager Should Do With Their Data Scientist

It’s natural to focus on project completion and work that shows well internally. But high-performing innovation teams need to look beyond vanity metrics and ask the hard questions that spur significant improvement. Here’s how to focus on what matters, define and prioritize customer outcomes, and obtain analytical clarity and actionability.

Welcome to the Post-Information Age

The Post-Information Age means it’s time to take stock of what it means for you personally and professionally. The definition of success of digital products has changed significantly. Here are three recommendations for managers who understand they need to do more with digital.

Learn to Code? Yes, Actually: 5 Big Questions on Coding

Is coding an essential job skill of the future? Should MBA students learn to code? Darden Professor Alex Cowan answers five questions on the building blocks of much of our digital world.

Agile in 3 Easy Chunks

Done right, "agile" is what every organization wants: a workhorse for applied innovation. Darden's Alex Cowan breaks down the process by which teams can determine which agile practices will best help them innovate.

Prototypes in HTML, CSS and JS Are the New PowerPoint

Every year, more Darden MBAs are joining what you’d generally call “technology companies” for reasons that may be obvious to you if you read Ideas to Action. Darden faculty consider how to equip them for those roles.

Corporate Innovation: How to Fund and Execute the Next Big Thing

How do you make sure the next big thing gets enough resources vs. zombie projects that lumber on without delivering?